Magnificent Six: 1928 Hudson Super Six Sedan

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Our thanks to reader GW for sending us the link to this really beautiful and seldom seen 1928 Hudson Super Six Custom Formal Sedan, for sale here on craigslist and located in Livingston, New Jersey. This car has been with its current owner for a long time. Based on what he says in the ad copy, he has too many projects and not enough time for this Hudson.

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At one point, the car was given at least a partial restoration.  According to the seller, “The body was lifted from the frame, then the entire frame, suspension, springs and rear were restored and repainted by a professional, then reinstalled on the body just before the car went into storage.” But then the car was stored in a shed for well over 20 years.  The body really does seem to still be in good condition, but the interior and likely the engine and electrical system will need to be addressed.

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The seller says he used to drive the car and reports that it ran and drove well (twenty years ago) –  it was last started about 10 years ago and apparently at that time, it still ran fine.

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As you can see in the photos, the wood spoke wheels look solid. The top material was removed from the car, but the owner still has it for a pattern. The seats are there but just the frame and springs are left. The interior was good when the car went into storage; unfortunately, it suffered from mice and moths and no longer looks to be usable. The interior was originally an aqua green and has an art deco pattern. It seems unlikely you would be able to replace it with the original material.

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Hudson is one of the great American nameplates. The original Hudson Motor Car company was founded in 1909 by Howard Coffin, George W. Dunham, and Roy E. Chapin, but its company name came from its principal investor, the department store mogul Joseph L. Hudson. Hudson achieved immediate success, and within two years of its first car being offered was the eleventh-largest auto company in America, at a time when there were a lot of makes competing for the American motorist’s attention.

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Hudson was an engineering leader, offering the industry’s first balanced crankshaft in its famously smooth six cylinder engines. The company was also first to offer dual brakes (mechanical parking brakes automatically applied when the brake pedal traveled lower than the hydraulic brakes’ normal maximum) and was the first to mount oil pressure and generator warning lights in the dashboard.

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The Roaring Twenties were good for Hudson, which introduced a lower priced, four cylinder Essex in 1919 to compete with Ford. The Essex offered great value and was extremely successful, adding a six cylinder model of its own in 1924. By the end of the decade, Hudson and Essex combined were building around 300,000 cars annually. Some of the 1920’s Hudsons are full classics today, and are beautiful strong running cars.

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There are a couple different Hudson models I found listed when trying to determine production numbers for this car. Maybe one of our readers will be able to properly identify the subject car. Is it a Series S or as I believe, a Series O model, and if it is an “O” model, is it a “Standard” or a “Deluxe” version?

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While this car could certainly be desirable for many, Hudson did make a fair number of them, and it will be a true labor of love to restore this car. The seller is asking for best offers over $5,000. That seems just a bit on the high side to me, given this is a non-running car that needs a complete restoration. However, these cars don’t come up for sale all that often and it really is a solid looking car.

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I could not find another 1928 Hudson for sale online – though I did find this similar but more original 1929 example for sale in Wisconsin for $6,900.

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1929 Hudson courtesy ClassicCars.com

So what do you think? Is this 1928 a good candidate for a rebuild to original specs? I know there are hot rodders out there who might like to transform this car, but I think it’s too nice not to be restored.

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If you like this car, or if you are planning to restore it, you’ll want to join the excellent Hudson-Essex-Terraplane Club and take advantage of their resources and knowledge of this historical marque. I hope this fine car will find a good home and be back on the road one day soon.

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Comments

  1. DrinkinGasoline

    There’s a good reason why there will be limited comments concerning this Hudson. It was a complicated build, therefore a complicated restoration. Imagine sitting down with those wheels with strip sandpaper (multiple grits), meticulously sanding each spoke, of each wheel to perfection, then sealing. Now onto band mount not withstanding metal restoration for bead seal. That alone scares the bejesus out of most. Now let’s consider any replacement parts availability…or lack of. It will take dedication.

  2. Fast Eddie/Old Eddie: take your pick!

    My understanding is that wood-spoked wheels were, from time to time, soaked in a stream or a river, to keep them from drying out too much and getting loose: would you want to sand & seal them? It’s a beautiful car.

  3. nessy

    Very nice. I always liked Hudsons and this era Hudson is a rare find for sure. Very impressive looking front end, almost Packard like with that big front grill and lights. The Super Six was a powerful car in it’s day. Hudsons had alot of racing history and were several steps above Ford, Chevy or Dodge, ect in class. If you are looking for a 1920’s era car besides a Model A Ford or something else basic, the price at 5k seems very fair. Looks like something else very old under that tarp next to the car and it looks like there is an old Nash/Hudson Rambler in front of it.

  4. nessy

    I am suprised at the lack of comments on this Hudson. One of the more unusual old cars seen here in a while. Dozens of comments on a Maverick or a Phoenix…. I guess not many here can relate to cars this old. I think it’s great.

  5. Kiwijeff

    I own a 28 and a 29 Hudson, and if that were closer, I’d buy it for that price.
    Unfortunately my 28 is missing most of the body, except for the cowl.
    One should only hot rod these, if they are really stuffed, as was the case with my 29.
    This 28 is in great Condition for a restoration.

  6. Geoffrey Price

    One thing for sure, A good late twenties Hudson will out run almost any other vintage car of simular age regardless of price. And when well restored, will require no further work for many many years. I have done over 17000 miles in mine since restoration in 1999 and apart from one small breakdown have always had enjoyable motoring.

  7. Maria Meras

    I have a frame in perfect condition if anybody is interested.

    • Tom Legbangt

      I’m interested in the frame if it has any front and rear stuff. Let me know.

  8. Thomas J Legbandt

    Well, I bought the car, it was the biggest mistake in my life. Everything you read about this being in good condition was an absolute lie. The seller lied. All the spokes for rotten, only the outside looked good, but you couldn’t trust them to be driven on. So I had to find an Amish wheel right and send them to Ohio to be remade. That was $2,500 for the wheels. Of course it needed new tires. The engine was frozen. Probably haven’t been driven in 50 years at least. After getting it unstuck I find that the camshaft was put in incorrectly no thrust shim. It was binding because of corrosion in the journals. I had to scrape every Babbitt bushing. I had to polish every journal because of the pitting and corrosion. The oil pump was put together wrong. Then I find that the timing chain was stretched. After replacing that expensive item, I found out that several other things were never put together correctly: the water pump the timing, the transmission, The brakes, someone had taken the whole car apart didn’t know what they were doing. The body was off the car, and it wasn’t put on right and the back of the body was full of rust and all the doors were rusty and needed repair. The doors cost $1,000 a piece to repair. On and on and on very expensive so far I put $40,000 in the car and I’m still continuing. Every small piece was taken off of the car probably put in a bucket and lost. It was immense trouble finding all the missing pieces, having things recast, reflectors unbent, etc in short nothing was right every single item needed to be fixed. so I ended up restoring a car that should have been sold for parts. But it will end up being a beautiful, reliable and sturdy car.

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